A Chinese city officials, who shamed people for wearing pyjamas in public, have apologised after a public outcry.
Suzhou city officials in Anhui province had released pictures of seven people wearing their nightwear, calling it an “uncivilised behaviour” as part of public campaign.
After the publication of the pictures, several people accused the government of infringing upon people’s privacy by imposing a dress code.
The online “shaming” included the pyjama picture – caught by surveillance cameras – plus the person’s name, ID card and other information, BBC reported on Monday.
China has seen a huge growth in surveillance technology in recent years, investing billions of dollars in the research of Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially in the facial recognition technology which is being deployed at public places as part of security measures.
Two years ago, the country had 170 million CCTV cameras, with another 400 million expected by the end of 2020. Many are linked to artificial intelligence – allowing them to recognise exactly who they are filming, the report said.
The pictures in Suzhou were published on Monday by the city’s management bureau.
Officials argued they were entering a national “civilised city” competition, and that residents were banned from wearing pyjamas in public.
Other “bad behaviour” exposed online included “laying (on a bench) in an uncivilised manner”, and handing out advertising flyers.
But the pyjama pictures caused anger online. Some argued that there was nothing wrong with wearing pyjamas in public while others said the government had infringed upon residents’ privacy, the report said.
Officials later “sincerely apologised”, adding: “We wanted to put an end to uncivilised behaviour, but of course we should protect residents’ privacy.”
The officials said they would, in future, blur the pictures instead.
A tourist city with ancient water systems, Suzhou’s proactive approach is not new.
Last year, according to local media, the city asked residents to submit pictures of “uncivilised behaviour”, offering to pay 10 yuan (USD 1.45) for successful tip-offs.China,Pyjamas,World News,wearing,Chinese city,